Commuter transit and parking accounts allow you to use pre-tax funds to pay for commuting costs.
Read on to find out specifics on how to enroll in and maximize your Commuter benefits, or jump to a section with these links:
What is a Commuter benefit?
A Commuter Transit Account is a pre-tax benefit account used to pay for public transit—including train, subway, bus, ferry, or vanpool—as part of your daily commute to and from work.
A Commuter Parking Account is a pre-tax benefit account used to pay for parking as part of your daily commute to work.
You can pause, change, or cancel contributions to your Commuter account at any time, although there are deadlines for changes and cancellations for specific benefit months.
There's no "use it or lose it" policy with your account unless you quit your job with money left in your account. Available balances can be rolled over year to year. But keep in mind that if you stop working for your employer, you forfeit any unused money left in your account.
When can I enroll for Commuter benefits?
You can enroll in a Commuter Transit or Parking Account at any time—there’s no need to wait for the next Open Enrollment period.
You can pause, change, or cancel contributions to your Commuter Transit or Parking account at any time, although there are deadlines for changes and cancellations for specific benefit months.
Note that most orders must be placed a month in advance.
Available balances can be rolled over year to year. But keep in mind that if you stop working for your employer, you forfeit any unused money left in your account.
How to enroll in Commuter benefits?
1. You must first create your Commuter account or log in to your Commuter account.
2. From your dashboard, select the Transit or Parking tab.
For Transit, select Place Transit Order or Place Vanpool Order.
For Parking, select Place Parking Order or Place Park & Ride Order.
3. Click Next to open the select an Operator page.
4. Enter your ZIP Code to see the available options for transit.
5. Continue through the steps to select your operator and complete the information for your transit method. Note: The HealthEquity Commuter Card option, if available, will appear after you select an operator on the next step.
6. Add your requested amount, up to $280 pre-tax per month (for 2022), dates, frequency for card, and click Next.
7. Confirm all your Contact Information, click Accurate at the bottom, then click Next.
Please note the purple/white calendar icon near the bottom of the Confirm Order page. This will indicate the first benefit month your order will be effective. Underneath your contact information, you'll see the deadline to change or cancel your order. There are no exceptions to this deadline.
What are eligible expenses for Commuter funds?
Several mass transit and parking options are eligible for commuter funds.
If you commute on the following, you can submit expenses for reimbursement:
Parking Lots (and using apps like SpotHero)
Employer-owned Parking Garages
Cost of parking at home or school
Taxis or limo service
Bicycle sharing programs (bike rental)
As the IRS code currently exists, bike sharing is not an eligible expense under commuter benefit programs.
Note: You must use pre-tax dollars for parking and for transit by electing each commuter benefit separately. You aren’t allowed to use funds interchangeably, i.e. you can't use transit funds to pay for parking passes or use parking funds to pay for transit tickets.
What are the contribution limits for Commuter benefits?
The IRS sets the contribution limits for Commuter benefits.
You can contribute up to a maximum of pre-tax $280 per month* to your Commuter Parking Account.
You can contribute up to a maximum of pre-tax $280 per month* to your Commuter Transit Account.
*A different limit may apply to you according to your employer’s plan.
What are payment options for Commuter benefits?
Payment options of Commuter transit and parking benefits depend on your employer’s plan.
Payment options may include:
Pay Me Back. Arrange for account funds to be transferred to your bank account or a check to be mailed to reimburse you for eligible parking expenses you've already paid. Just keep in mind that you must elect the Pay Me Back option for the month you wish to claim the reimbursement.
Pay My Provider. Arrange for convenient direct payments to your transit provider, parking garage or parking provider. Simply log into your account and fill out a simple form to have eligible expenses paid directly from your account.
Pay by Debit Card. Use the convenient Commuter Card associated with your account to pay for transit and parking. You decide how much money to load onto your card each month to cover your monthly commuting costs.
Transit payment options, like contactless payments, vary by transit agency. Reach out to your local transit agency to see what options are available.
What happens to my Commuter funds if I leave my employer?
Once HealthEquity is notified that you have left your employer, all future commuter elections not yet processed are canceled. Pay Me Back elections may be accessed after termination for 180 days after the end of the benefit month in which the expense was incurred. Commuter elections processed prior to your termination may still be fulfilled. Your financial obligation for the benefit is determined by your employer.
Transit - If you are using a HealthEquity Commuter Card, you have 90 days from the date of termination to spend down any remaining Transit commuter card funds.
Parking - Parking commuter card funds are immediately forfeited upon termination date.
You have six months following the end of the benefit month to file claims to be reimbursed from your Pay Me Back account for expenses incurred prior to your termination. Per IRS regulations, pre-tax funds cannot be refunded to you if you terminate.
How do I get my HealthEquity Commuter Card?
If this is your first order for a HealthEquity Commuter Card, the new card will be mailed to you prior to the first day of your first benefit month.
If you already have a HealthEquity Commuter Card and you are re-enrolling to fund the card, you’ll go through the same enrollment process. However, a new card will not be sent, unless it has expired (cards issued prior to April 2021 are valid for 3 years; cards issued after April 2021 are valid for 5 years). Your previous card will have the requested funds transferred to it for your use. If you no longer have your previous card, please follow the instructions to request a replacement by clicking Manage Cards from the righthand side of the homepage.
How do I check my Commuter account balance?
It's easy to check your Commuter benefits balance. Just log into your Commuter Transit or Commuter Parking Account and balances will show on the dashboard.
You can manage all aspects of your account:
Check account balances
Submit claims and view claims status
Look up eligible expenses
What happens after I place my order?
Members who submit their Commuter Card or Parking pass orders before the order deadline (in many cases, the 10th of the month) will receive the order before the first day of the following benefit month. Please note that members will not receive an order immediately after placing one. Members can view their order deadline by logging into their Commuter account and selecting the Parking or Transit tab. To avoid having to manually place an order every month, members can set up recurring orders for the month(s) that they would like to submit an order for.
For example, if a member places an order before the 10th of April, that member would receive their Commuter Card or Transit Pass before the 1st of May. An order submitted after the order deadline of April 10th (in most cases) may not be received by a member until as late as June.